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Duty on fertiliser scrapped

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Government has suspended duty on imported urea and ammonium nitrate fertilisers to ensure adequate supplies of the commodities in the 2017-18 cropping season.

The announcement was made by Finance and Economic Development Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo in a Statutory Instrument gazetted last Friday.

In terms Statutory Instrument 128 of 2017, duty was “suspended on the importation of 70 000 tonnes of urea in aqueous solution or not”.

Government is understood to be negotiating a US$56 million facility with the African Export-Import Bank to support fertiliser imports.

Zimbabwe needs 300 000 tonnes of compound D and 100 000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate annually.

Last season, many farmers — both self-financing and under Command Agriculture — struggled to get top-dressing fertiliser due to foreign currency allocation hiccups that saw local manufacturers failing to import raw materials.